ASK THE ORACLE
Bronwynne Cornish's trio of Oracles are proving to be very popular in the Lugosi's Children exhibition at Objectspace. The nature of the questions that visitors are posing to the Bird, the Dog, and the Mirror Oracle, reveal that in difficult times people will often look to some power beyond themselves for answers to their big questions.
In the tradition of the Delphic Oracle, the Oracle enlisted to provide responses to people's questions throughout the exhibition, dictates answers in the form of verse couplets that people will need to ponder when they return to the gallery to find out the answer to the question they posed.
Laura and Philip at Objectspace tell me that people are spending a lot of time in the Oracle tent reading the answers and taking notes. Apparently, a woman rushed in the other day to see if her answer was there. She emerged from the tent elated, saying that the answer was exactly what she needed.
It occurred to me that it might be nice to collect the Oracle's beautiful answers and turn them into a gift for the people who worked so hard to put the exhibition together. The format I decided upon was modelled on a Word Tin that my sister Therese made for each member of our family a few years ago.
The Word Tin sits on the bedside table with the wishing stone on top.
Every morning we shake the tin and extract a word of the day.
Yesterday, Jack was 'Loving', I was 'Electric', and Zero was 'Cuddly'.
Therese wrote this lovely poem about the Word Tin in 2006, which was published in the chapbook Many Things Happened (Pania Press: 2006):
The Word Tin
Every morning after breakfast, I pluck a word from the Word Tin. The tin is a black cube – its opacity means I can never peek at a word before choosing.
There are roughly one hundred words in the Word Tin, written in gold lettering on strips of black card. Some words are better than others, but there are no bad words in the Word Tin.
If I’m extra lucky, I might find myself illuminative, creative or jubilant.
The Word Tin has become an indispensable decision-making aid. For example, on the day I quit my job, I was powerful.
Entrepreneurial had to be cut in half because it was the longest word and easy to pull out. Even though I know this, it is still vaguely disappointing to pull out entrep.
Once the word has been selected, pondered upon and allowed to influence my day, it is then placed under the Lucky Stone. The Lucky Stone? That’s a whole other story…
To make the Oracle Box, I bought ten round boxes from Spotlight, which I decorated with vintage wallpaper and a label printed in orange ink using the cute alphabet rubber stamp-set I bought from Iko Iko last week.
65 Oracle answers were selected, printed onto thick paper, cut and folded.
The box is pretty full, but there is still enough room for them to move around when you shake it while posing your question to the Oracle. Here are a few of my favourite answers: